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Career profile Athletics Coach

Also known as Baseball Coach, Basketball Coach, Coach, Cross Country Coach, Football Coach, Gymnastics Coach, Soccer Coach, Softball Coach, Track and Field Coach, Volleyball Coach

Athletics Coach

Also known as Baseball Coach, Basketball Coach, Coach

Interests Profile
  • Social
  • Realistic
  • Enterprising
Pay Range
$19,340 - $81,940 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Instructing
  • Speaking
  • Learning Strategies
Knowledge Areas
  • Education and Training
  • Administration and Management
  • Psychology
Core tasks
  • Plan, organize, and conduct practice sessions.
  • Provide training direction, encouragement, motivation, and nutritional advice to prepare athletes for games, competitive events, or tours.
  • Adjust coaching techniques, based on the strengths and weaknesses of athletes.
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What does an Athletics Coach do?

Athletics Coaches instruct or coach groups or individuals in the fundamentals of sports for the primary purpose of competition.

In addition, Athletics Coaches

  • demonstrate techniques and methods of participation,
  • may evaluate athletes' strengths and weaknesses as possible recruits or to improve the athletes' technique to prepare them for competition,
  • those required to hold teaching certifications should be reported in the appropriate teaching category.

What kind of tasks does an Athletics Coach perform regularly?

Athletics Coaches are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Plan, organize, and conduct practice sessions.
  • Provide training direction, encouragement, motivation, and nutritional advice to prepare athletes for games, competitive events, or tours.
  • Adjust coaching techniques, based on the strengths and weaknesses of athletes.
  • Instruct individuals or groups in sports rules, game strategies, and performance principles, such as specific ways of moving the body, hands, or feet, to achieve desired results.
  • Plan strategies and choose team members for individual games or sports seasons.
  • Monitor the academic eligibility of student athletes.
  • Counsel student athletes on academic, athletic, and personal issues.
  • Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of opposing teams to develop game strategies.
  • Coordinate travel arrangements and travel with team to away contests.
  • Evaluate athletes' skills and review performance records to determine their fitness and potential in a particular area of athletics.
  • Monitor athletes' use of equipment to ensure safe and proper use.
  • Explain and enforce safety rules and regulations governing sports, recreational activities, and the use of exercise equipment.
  • Keep abreast of changing rules, techniques, technologies, and philosophies relevant to their sport.
  • Contact the parents of players to provide information and answer questions.
  • Arrange and conduct sports-related activities, such as training camps, skill-improvement courses, clinics, and pre-season try-outs.
  • Explain and demonstrate the use of sports and training equipment, such as trampolines or weights.
  • Perform activities that support a team or a specific sport, such as participating in community outreach activities, meeting with media representatives, and appearing at fundraising events.

The above responsibilities are specific to Athletics Coaches. More generally, Athletics Coaches are involved in several broader types of activities:

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Coaching and Developing Others
Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Developing and Building Teams
Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

What is an Athletics Coach salary?

The median salary for an Athletics Coach is $36,330, and the average salary is $47,100. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Athletics Coach salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Athletics Coaches earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Athletics Coaches earn less than $19,340 per year, 25% earn less than $25,190, 75% earn less than $55,530, and 90% earn less than $81,940.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Athletics Coaches is expected to change by 25.6%, and there should be roughly 45,100 open positions for Athletics Coaches every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$19,340 - $81,940
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Athletics Coaches?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as an Athletics Coach are usually higher in their Social, Realistic, and Enterprising interests.

Athletics Coaches typically have very strong Social interests. Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Also, Athletics Coaches typically have strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Lastly, Athletics Coaches typically have strong Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as an Athletics Coach tend to value Achievement, Relationships, and Independence.

Most importantly, Athletics Coaches very strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Second, Athletics Coaches very strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Lastly, Athletics Coaches very strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Athletics Coaches must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, leadership, and integrity.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Athletics Coaches, ranked by importance:

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

What education and training do Athletics Coaches need?

Many Athletics Coaches will have a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Athletics Coaches usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Educational degrees among Athletics Coaches

  • 1.4% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 9.8% completed high school or secondary school
  • 16.6% completed some college coursework
  • 6.3% earned a Associate's degree
  • 40.4% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 22.9% earned a Master's degree
  • 2.6% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Athletics Coaches

Athletics Coaches may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as education and training, administration and management, or psychology knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Athletics Coaches might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Communications and Media
Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.

Important Abilities needed by Athletics Coaches

Athletics Coaches must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Athletics Coaches need abilities such as oral expression, oral comprehension, and speech recognition in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Athletics Coaches, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Speech Recognition
The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Speech Clarity
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.

Critical Skills needed by Athletics Coaches

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Athletics Coaches frequently use skills like instructing, speaking, and learning strategies to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Athletics Coaches, ranked by their relative importance.

Teaching others how to do something.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Learning Strategies
Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.